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Saturday, April 03, 2004

"The talks almost always take place in the dark. During the first 10 minutes, the scientist-presenter fumbles with a bulky laptop computer in an effort to get the PowerPoint program to work. During the nonext 30 minutes, the scientist, who has never been trained in the art of public speaking, explains, often through a very thick Chinese, German, French or Italian accent, why the mass of pinkish cells on the right is the surprising and highly significant result of the procedure performed on the almost identical mass of pinkish cells on the left. Line graphs are shown.
"The final five minutes is taken up by a question period. Colleagues stand at a microphone in the middle of the aisle and, using the polite code phrases of science, ask the presenter if he has considered the possibility that his head has unaccountably become entangled in his ass."
An extract from Brian Alexander's Rapture: How Biotech Became the New Religion as quoted in this Wired News article, which also asks, "Do most Americans lack the attention span to follow science news more complicated than the latest antidepressant or flu shot?" (The article is about CSN: Cable Science Network, which in an ideal world, we'd be seeing instead of The God Channel or whatever that bunkum is called.)

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